José Baselga Research Fund Announces First-Ever Grant to Advance Prion Disease Research

Grant to provide resources for new and innovative research projects in the field of neurodegenerative disorders, such as prion diseases

BOSTON--()--The José Baselga Research Fund (JBRF), supported by Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, today announced the initiation of the Global José Baselga Research Grant (Baselga Grant), an annual $75,000 grant to advance the treatment of prion diseases, a group of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders.

JBRF was created by the Baselga family in memory of Dr. José Baselga, a physician-scientist who dedicated his life to the advancement of cancer therapy before passing away two years ago today from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), an extremely rare, fatal neurodegenerative condition. The Baselga Grant will honor Jose’s legacy and support scientists in the pursuit of understanding, and eradicating, prion diseases such as CJD.

“Our family feels incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing father and husband for as long as we did, and we are committed to continuing his legacy of improving people’s lives through innovative medicines,” commented Clara Baselga-Garriga, daughter of José and student at Harvard Medical School. “We now join in his passion for scientific discovery and are grateful to be partnering with Alexion to support meaningful research for prion diseases on a global scale.”

Each year, the Baselga Grant will support one innovative project by an investigator conducting basic, translational, clinical, or population research. The project must have direct applicability and relevance to understanding the pathophysiology or other aspects of prion diseases, developing therapies, or mechanisms for earlier detection of prion disease. There are no geographic requirements for applicants. The schedule for application submission and review by a renowned advisory board is as follows:

  • Letter of Intent Deadline: June 16, 2023
  • Notification of Finalists: July 17, 2023
  • Final Application Deadline: September 29, 2023
  • Notification of Grant Recipient: December 1, 2023
  • Initiation of Grant: January 15, 2024

For more information on the Baselga Grant, including submission instructions, additional eligibility guidelines, and evaluation criteria, please visit:

About Prion Disease
Prion diseases are a group of rare, neurodegenerative disorders that are transmissible, untreatable, and fatal.1 These diseases occur when a normal protein, for unknown reasons, malfunctions and assembles into structured aggregates called prions that cause infectious brain disease.1 The malfunction and assembly process can be underway for years before symptoms appear.1 The best-known prion disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).1 In about 85% of patients, CJD occurs as a sporadic disease with no recognizable pattern of transmission.2 There are currently no effective therapies approved for the treatment of CJD and the vast majority of CJD patients will not live past one year of the onset of illness.2

About the José Baselga Research Fund
Following the death of renowned physician-scientist, Dr. José Baselga, the Baselga family began working alongside Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, and Charities Aid Foundation to create the “José Baselga Research Fund” to honor José’s legacy and push the science forward in understanding and treating rare neurogenerative conditions, such as prion disease. Each year, this Fund will award the Baselga Grant, consisting of $75,000, to support meaningful clinical or basic science research related to prion disease on a global scale. For more information, please visit: Home | José Baselga

About Alexion
Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, is the group within AstraZeneca focused on rare diseases, created following the 2021 acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As a leader in rare diseases for 30 years, Alexion is focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing medicines. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, cardiology and ophthalmology. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexion has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit


  1. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Prion Diseases. Available here. Access March 2023.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About CJD, Available here. Accessed March 2023.



Rachel Girard:

Release Summary

The José Baselga Research Fund has announced an annual $75,000 grant to advance the treatment of prion diseases


Rachel Girard: